NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2022

The Avalanche clinch the top seed in the Western Conference, the Flames, Blues and Bruins secure playoff berths, Kirill Kaprizov sets a new Wild scoring record, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche secured the top seed in the Western Conference with 116 points by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 7-4. Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher each scored twice while rookie forward Ben Meyers scored in his first NHL game. Jordan Staal scored twice for Carolina but left the game with an undisclosed injury following a hit by Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. Hurricanes goaltender Frederic Andersen left the game in the third period with an apparent injury to his left leg. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 104 points.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

Calgary Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two goals and two assists in a 9-1 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes. Elias Lindholm had a goal and three assists for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 101 points. They clinched a playoff berth earlier in the day following the Edmonton Oilers’ win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Speaking of the Oilers, they blanked the Golden Knights 4-0 with Mike Smith kicking out 39 shots for his second shutout in as many games. Kris Russell, Cody Ceci, Warren Foegele and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the goal scorers as the Oilers sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 94 points. The Golden Knights (87 points) sit four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

After blowing leads of 4-1 and 5-3, the St. Louis Blues bested the Minnesota Wild 6-5 on an overtime goal by Brayden Schenn to clinch a playoff berth. Schenn and teammate Pavel Buchnevich each had a goal and two assists as the Blues hold second place in the Central Division with 100 points. Minnesota center Ryan Hartman scored twice and collected an assist while teammate Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 43rd goal to set a single-season franchise record. The Wild are one point back of the Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Nick Leddy left the game after taking a stick near one of his eyes. He’ll be undergoing further evaluation. Meanwhile, Wild forward Tyson Jost suffered a lower-body injury and will miss today’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Boston Bruins secured a playoff berth by holding off the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 thanks to early first-period goals by Trent Frederic and Erik Haula and a 23-save effort by goaltender Jeremy Swayman. With 97 points, they hold the first wild-card position in the Eastern Conference. Danton Heinen replied for the Penguins, who sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 97 points. Earlier in the day, they announced goalie Tristan Jarry is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have already clinched a playoff berth so Jarry’s absence won’t hurt them in that regard. However, this could be a problem if he’s still sidelined when the playoffs open in early May.

New York Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin made 20 saves to shut out the Detroit Red Wings 4-0. Alexis Lafreniere put the game out of reach with two third-period goals. The Rangers are tied with the Hurricanes with 104 points but the former holds first in the Metro division with 42 regulation wins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko left this game in the first period with a lower-body injury. It was only his fourth match since missing 31 games with a wrist injury. On Friday, the club revealed winger Tyler Motte will be sidelined for at least the remainder of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

An overtime goal by Mark Giordano gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Giordano finished the game with a goal and two assists while Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs (104 points) as they tied a franchise record with their 49th win of the season. They hold a four-point lead over the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators played without Colin White as the 25-year-old center was placed in COVID protocol yesterday.

The Lightning, meanwhile, got four-point performances from Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman to down the Winnipeg Jets 7-4. Kyle Connor tallied his 43rd goal of the season for the Jets, who sit 10 points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets aren’t eliminated yet from the postseason chase but they’re on the brink.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars (91 points) maintained their grip on that final Western wild-card position by nipping the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Tyler Seguin and Michael Raffl scored for the Stars while Jake Oettinger made 23 saves for the win.

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi scored his 20th goal of the season as his club held off the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Juuse Saros picked up the win by stopping 28 shots while Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist. The Predators are tied with the Stars but they hold the first wild-card spot with 35 regulation wins.

The Los Angeles Kings strengthened their hold on third place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dustin Brown and Phillip Danault scored first-period goals and Jonathan Quick made 21 stops as the Kings sit three points ahead of the Golden Knights with 90 points and are four back of the Oilers.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin netted his 47th goal in an 8-4 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens. Anthony Mantha and Dmitry Orlov each had four-point performances as the Capitals hold the final Eastern wild-card spot with 94 points. Canadiens center Nick Suzuki reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career while Ryan Poehling tallied twice.

The Seattle Kraken got a shootout goal from Ryan Donato to defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Kraken rookie Matty Beniers scored his first NHL goal in his second game while Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves for the win.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and an assist while teammate Kyle Okposo netted his 20th goal of the season in a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2022

The Panthers earn another comeback win, the Avalanche’s Cale Makar downs the Jets in overtime, 2021 first-overall pick Owen Powers signs with Sabres, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers earned their third multi-goal comeback victory for the third time in their last four games by defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Sam Bennett netted the winner in the third period while Aleksander Barkov and Claude Giroux each had two points as Florida overcame a 3-1 deficit to pick up their league-leading 30th home win. With 106 points, the Panthers hold a six-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they failed to pad their lead in the Metropolitan Division after falling 2-1 to the New York Islanders. Kyle Palmieri tallied the game-winner with 15 seconds remaining in regulation after Carolina center Vincent Trocheck tied the game 32 seconds beforehand. The Hurricanes remain two points up on the New York Rangers for first place in the division.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar tied a franchise record with his third overtime goal of the season in a 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky and Alex Newhook finished the night with two points each as the Avalanche hold first place in the overall standings with 108 points. Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers each had two goals and an assist as the Jets (77 points) kept their fading playoff hopes alive to move within seven points of the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets captain Blake Wheeler missed this game after suffering an undisclosed injury during Wednesday’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit to tame the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on an overtime goal by Robert Thomas. Ville Husso kicked out 35 shots for the win as the Blues moved into a tie with the Wild with 92 points, though the latter holds second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 41st goal of the season and only needs one more to tie the franchise record.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No sophomore slump for Kaprizov following his Calder Memorial Trophy season. He’s among the league’s top-10 scorers, proving worthy of the $9 million per season cap hit on his contract while breaking the Wild’s single-season points record.

An overtime goal by Charlie Coyle lifted the Boston Bruins over the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Jake DeBrusk opened the scoring and got the primary assist on Coyle’s goal while Linus Ullmark stopped 29 shots for the win. The Bruins moved into third place in the Atlantic Division with 95 points, one ahead of the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins got the win with winger David Pastrnak and defenseman Hampus Lindholm on the sidelines. Speaking of the Bolts, they’ve dropped four straight after four consecutive wins.

HEADLINES

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed top prospect Owen Power to a three-year entry-level contract. Power was the Sabres’ first-round pick (first overall) in the 2021 NHL draft.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets inked prospect Kent Johnson to an entry-level deal. They selected him with the fifth-overall pick in last year’s draft.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have secured their backup goaltender for next season by signing Spencer Martin to a two-year, one-way contract.

NHL.COM: The NHL department of player safety fined Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane $5,000.00 for kneeing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi during Thursday’s game between the two clubs.

Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons was fined $2,500.00 for spearing Ottawa Senators center Josh Norris on Thursday.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Tyler Motte is sidelined for the near future with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to return before the end of the regular season on April 29. Forward Filip Chytil is also out with an upper-body injury but is expected to return to action soon.

NHL.COM: Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay is the 2022 winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top college hockey player in the United States. The undrafted McKay will be free to sign with any team following the national championship game on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKay is named after Hall-of-Fame goaltender Ken Dryden and wears the same number (29) in his honor.










Trade Tracker – 2022 NHL Trade Deadline

Trade Tracker – 2022 NHL Trade Deadline

The following is the list of players traded on March 21, 2022. The trade deadline is 3 pm ET. Check in regularly as this list will be updated throughout today until the last trades are officially announced.

Vegas Golden Knights trade forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the LTIR contract of Ryan Kesler, defenseman John Moore and a conditional second-round pick in 2023 or 2024.

Seattle Kraken acquire forward Victor Rask from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for future consideration.

Columbus Blue Jackets trade forward Max Domi to the Carolina Hurricanes in a three-team trade involving the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes also received defense prospect Tyler Inamoto, the Blue Jackets received defense prospect Aiden Hreschuk, and the Panthers received forward prospect Egor Korshkov and a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft.

The New York Rangers acquire forward Andrew Copp and a sixth-rounder in 2023 from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for minor-league center Morgan Barron, a conditional second-round pick in 2022 (becomes a first-rounder if the Rangers win two rounds in 2022 playoffs), a conditional second-rounder in 2022 or 2023 and a fifth-rounder in 2023.

Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Riley Nash for the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for future considerations.

Edmonton Oilers acquire forward Derick Brassard from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2023.

Calgary Flames acquire center Ryan Carpenter from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2024.

Ottawa Senators acquire goaltender Michael McNiven from the Calgary Flames for future considerations.

Chicago Blackhawks trade goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild (NHL Images)

New York Rangers acquire forward Nick Merkley from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Anthony Bitetto.

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquire winger Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon, a 2022 second-round pick and a prospect.

The Rangers also acquire forward Tyler Motte from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 2023 fourth-rounder.

Detroit Red Wings ship forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2024.

Montreal Canadiens trade goaltender Andrew Hammond to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for minor-league center Nate Schnarr.

Colorado Avalanche acquires forward Andrew Cogliano from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2024 fifth-rounder.

The Washington Capitals acquire Johan Larsson from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Zach Sanford to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2022 fifth-round pick.

St. Louis Blues acquire defenseman Nick Leddy and minor-league blueliner Luke Witkowski from the Detroit Red Wings for winger Oskar Sundqvist, defenseman Jake Walman and a 2023 second-round pick.

Montreal Canadiens trade forward Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defense prospect Justin Barron and a 2024 second-round pick.

Edmonton Oilers acquire defenseman Brett Kulak from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman William Lagesson and a conditional second-round pick in 2022 or 2023.

Boston Bruins trade winger Zach Senyshyn and a fifth-rounder in the 2022 draft to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Josh Brown and a seventh-rounder in 2022.

The New York Rangers acquire defenseman Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers for a third-round pick in 2023.

Chicago Blackhawks trade goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a conditional 2022 second-round draft pick that becomes a first-rounder if the Wild reach the Western Conference Final. 

Minnesota Wild trade goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Jacob Middleton.

The Seattle Kraken trade forward Marcus Johansson to the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Daniel Sprong, a 2022-fourth-round pick and a 2023 sixth-rounder.

The Winnipeg Jets trade center Nathan Smith and Bryan Little’s LTIR contract to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Winnipeg Jets trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 15, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 15, 2022

What next for the Ducks and Avalanche following the Josh Manson trade? Could the Islanders shop Semyon Varlamov? What’s the latest on the Golden Knights and Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ARE MORE TRADES COMING FOR THE DUCKS AND AVALANCHE?

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford suggests the Anaheim Ducks might not be done dealing after shipping Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche yesterday. He reminds us that Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek recently indicated he would trade pending unrestricted free agents like Manson if he couldn’t get them re-signed before the March 21 trade deadline.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (NHL Images).

Ducks defenseman (and pending UFA) Hampus Lindholm has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks. He reportedly seeks a longer-term deal than the five-year contract he’s been offered. He could fetch a good return for the Ducks if he’s moved before the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the focus will be on Lindholm but he’s not the only UFA the Ducks could peddle by the deadline. Winger Rickard Rakell could also draw interest from clubs seeking a scoring right wing. He’s been linked to the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins in recent trade rumors.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Avalanche isn’t finished in the trade market. He thinks they’re still interested in Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux among other forwards.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh observes salary-cap space is tight for the Avalanche. However, they could garner some flexibility by placing captain Gabriel Landeskog and his $7 million cap hit on long-term injury reserve following his knee surgery yesterday.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater rules out the possibility of the Avalanche acquiring goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s been told there’s not much interest on the Avs part in a big offer for Fleury. He also believes they’ll pursue a forward leading up to the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs have been linked to Giroux for weeks but there have been recent rumblings they could be looking at more affordable options such as the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp. If the focus is to boost their bottom-six, Copp would make the most sense.

WILL THE ISLANDERS SHOP VARLAMOV?

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently reported it’s believed New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov won’t waive his no-trade clause to go to the Edmonton Oilers. He also wondered if the Washington Capitals (one of Varlamov’s former clubs) might turn to the Isles netminder if they’re unable to acquire Marc-Andre Fleury from the Blackhawks.

A pair of sources told Kurz the Toronto Maple Leafs could be a fit, but any deal involving the cap-strapped Maple Leafs might involve taking on Petr Mrazek and his $3.8 million cap hit through 2023-24. The Vegas Golden Knights could be another option given starter Robin Lehner’s battle with injuries this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Varlamov carries a $5 million annual average value through 2022-23 with a 16-team no-trade clause. Those factors will make him difficult to move if the Islanders wish to shop him as a cost-cutting move. It might have to involve a “hockey trade” with the Isles taking back a player in return.

LATEST ON CRAIG ANDERSON, MARTIN JONES, PAVEL ZACHA & TYLER MOTTE

TSN: Pierre LeBrun speculates there could be some “tire-kicking” on Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson. The team has huge respect for Anderson and LeBrun doesn’t think they’ll move him unless he’s comfortable with it.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall believes Flyers backup Martin Jones has solid rental potential for any team with instability between the pipes. He’s a pending UFA on a one-year, $2 million contract. Hall noted a report in late January indicating the Edmonton Oilers were willing to give up a late-round draft pick for Jones but the Flyers likely wanted to let the market play out for leverage purposes.

SPORTSNET’S Elliotte Friedman (stick tap to NHL Watcher) said the Montreal Canadiens are one of the teams with an interest in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha, 24, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights completing a three-year deal with a $2.5 million annual cap hit and $3 million this season in actual salary. The Vancouver Canucks were also reportedly interested in him.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith suggested Vancouver Canucks bottom-six forward Tyler Motte could be an intriguing trade option for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He’s a UFA this summer with a $1.25 million salary-cap hit this season. A second-round pick or an equivalent prospect could be the asking price but it remains to be seen if the Canucks will trade him while they’re jockeying for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

UPDATES ON THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS AND OILERS

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen believes the slumping Golden Knights needs to bolster their goaltending with starter Robin Lehner still battling injuries. Possible trade options could include the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev, New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo and the Dallas Stars’ Braden Holtby.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just over $1.2 million in projected deadline cap space, the Golden Knights don’t have much wiggle room here to add a goalie. Varlamov’s $5 million cap hit through next season is too expensive and the Stars aren’t moving Holtby with Anton Khudobin undergoing hip surgery. That leaves Georgiev and Korpisalo and there’s no certainty either guy will give Vegas the boost they need between the pipes.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes Oilers GM Ken Holland has to be in “add mode” as the trade deadline approaches with his club scrambling to nail down a playoff berth. He believes Holland should add an older, bigger defenseman such as the Philadelphia Flyers’ Justin Braun, the Detroit Red Wings’ Marc Staal or the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy. Braun and Staal are pending UFAs while Soucy has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $2.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Oilers will need some help acquiring one of those defensemen. Matheson speculates Holland could be prepared to offer up checking-line forward Josh Archibald (and pending UFA) as a trade chip. However, he might have to include a pick or prospect in the deal.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2022

Will Marc-Andre Fleury accept a trade? Should the Wild acquire Shea Weber’s contract? What’s the latest on the Penguins? Could the Bruins pursue Jakob Chychrun? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WILL FLEURY ACCEPT A TRADE?

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports a source claims Marc-Andre Fleury has told the Chicago Blackhawks he doesn’t want to be moved at the trade deadline. “That basically removes Fleury from the trade deadline, unless of course he changes his mind,” writes Simmons.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Ben Pope took to Twitter to counter Simmons’ report, saying his understanding is the Fleury situation remains “up in the air.” He doesn’t think the goalie has ruled it out.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pope added it’s believed Fleury wants to stay in Chicago and could even re-sign with the Blackhawks if he doesn’t retire. Still, he believes a Fleury trade remains possible. Stay tuned…

SHOULD THE WILD ACQUIRE WEBER’S CONTRACT?

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo suggested the Minnesota Wild consider acquiring the contract of sidelined Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber after noting Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Canadiens are willing to trade that contract.

Assuming Weber’s playing career is over, his $7.857 million annual salary cap hit through 2025-26 could provide the Wild a way out of salary-cap hell for the next three seasons after they bought out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last year. It could free up room to sign Kevin Fiala to a contract extension or delve into this summer’s free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting suggestion. It remains to be seen if Wild general manager Bill Guerin will act on that or if he has other plans to find some much-needed salary-cap space beyond this season.

LATEST PENGUINS SPECULATION

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski noted the Penguins have scouted the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks over the past week. He believes Penguins GM Ron Hextall won’t “go big” at the March 21 trade deadline but instead seek affordable options for a middle-six winger or blueline depth.

Kingerski wondered if the Penguins could give up a left-hand defenseman (and retain salary) because they’re deep on that side. He noted Toronto winger Nick Robertson has struggled to crack the Maple Leafs lineup.

He also downplayed the “Brock Boeser for Kasperi Kapanen” speculation regarding the Canucks and doesn’t see them parting with J.T. Miller. He wondered instead if Hextall could interest Vancouver hockey ops president (and former Penguins GM) Jim Rutherford in a prospect such as Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Nathan Legare or Samuel Poulin, suggesting Canucks winger Conor Garland or defenseman Travis Hamonic as trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall surprised everyone at last year’s trade deadline by acquiring Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings. It was a move that worked out well for the Penguins.

I anticipate Hextall will try to boost his roster at the trade deadline, though it might not be a splash as big as the Carter acquisition. The Penguins have no games scheduled against the Leafs or Canucks so perhaps there’s a deal to be made with one of those clubs.

TIDBITS FROM DAILY FACEOFF’S RECENT “ICEBREAKERS”.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently reported the Florida Panthers have no interest in trading goaltender Spencer Knight. It’s believed the Panthers and Arizona Coyotes engaged in discussions regarding Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun around the holidays. The Coyotes wanted Knight as part of the package but that obviously didn’t happen.

Speaking of Chychrun, Seravalli noted the Boston Bruins were also interested in the Coyotes blueliner. He wondered if Bruin goalie Jeremy Swayman could be part of the proposed transaction. The Bruins would then need a backup for Linus Ullmark, prompting Seravalli to suggest perhaps someone like Philadelphia’s Martin Jones might work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch speculated about the Bruins perhaps packaging winger Jake DeBrusk as part of a deal for Chychrun. However, I think the Coyotes will stay patient on offers for him. With Chychrun signed beyond this season, they can wait until this summer to move him if they don’t get any offers to their liking by March 21. I think the Bruins prefer keeping their goalie tandem intact for the remainder of the season to see how things shake out.

Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul would draw considerable interest from playoff contenders seeking affordable forward depth. Sources say there’s been little contract between the Senators and Paul on a contract extension.

The Carolina Hurricanes have started contract extension talks with Jesperi Kotkaniemi. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s on a one-year. $6.1 million contract. Seravalli wonders if a six- or seven-year deal at a lower annual average value between $4 million and $4.5 million might work for both sides.

The Vancouver Canucks must also soon reach a decision on trading or retaining forward Tyler Motte. He’s slated to become a UFA this summer. Sources said there haven’t yet been substantive contract discussions.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2022

The Canucks’ new management faces some big decisions by the trade deadline, updates on Carey Price and Jake DeBrusk, and the latest Red Wings speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CANUCKS NEW GENERAL MANAGER FACING BIG DECISIONS

SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports Patrik Allvin, the new general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, faces some big decisions over the next couple of months leading up to the March 21 trade deadline.

Teams have been calling about center J.T. Miller, who’s signed to a bargain contract running through 2022-23. The Canucks aren’t under pressure to move him now but the offers might be better for him at this year’s trade deadline compared to next year’s.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Canucks need to restock their prospect pipeline. He thinks they would listen if a club offered up three or four prospects or three or four assets. Whether they get that offer remains to be seen.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

Winger Brock Boeser is owed a $7.5 million qualifying offer after this season. If the Canucks are uncomfortable with that, do they attempt to trade him at the deadline, wait until the offseason or attempt to re-sign him for a lower annual average value?

Backup goalie Jaroslav Halak will soon trigger $1.5 million in bonus money. The Canucks will have to carry that overage into next season when he could be playing with another club. They could try to move him at the trade deadline, but he carries a no-movement clause. Winger Tyler Motte is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and could also draw interest from contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Canucks becoming sellers unless they fall out of playoff contention by March. They could get solid offers for Miller or Boeser at the trade deadline but they aren’t under pressure to move either guy by that point.

Moving Miller would be understandable given his age and UFA eligibility next summer but Boeser’s only 24 and considered to be part of their long-term plans. Moving him would likely be an offseason decision if they’re unable to work out a suitable contract.

They could find a team capable of absorbing Halak’s bonus clause. However, his no-movement is a serious sticking point. Still, he could waive it if a contender shows interest.

UPDATES ON PRICE AND DEBRUSK

TVA SPORTS: Kent Hughes, the new general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, acknowledged the importance of Carey Price to the organization, calling him “untouchable”. However, he needs to get more answers about the 34-year-old goaltender’s health before determining what comes next in terms of his future. The option of a contract buyout doesn’t appear to be in his plans. “I can’t answer that right now, but I don’t think so,” said Hughes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lot of suggestions about the Canadiens perhaps shopping Price at the trade deadline after Hughes was hired last week. It’s not going to happen. He carries a hefty $10.5 million annual average value through 2025-26 plus a full no-movement clause and he remains sidelined recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Buying him out would count as $10.8 million against the Canadiens cap next season, followed by three seasons of $9.08 million annually before dropping to $583K annually for the remaining four seasons of the buyout. So yeah, I also don’t think this is an option.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports there’s no trade imminent for Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. His inconsistent play means the Bruins won’t get top assets in return. A trade might not help him smooth out the peaks and valleys in his game.

DeBrusk’s contract is also an issue. He’s a restricted free agent this summer due for a $4.41 million qualifying offer. The Bruins are unlikely to meet that QO but that would make him an unrestricted free agent this summer. They must find a team willing to qualify DeBrusk or at least take the risk of negotiating a new contract. Otherwise, acquiring him would be like trading for a rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney reportedly sought a player of equal value. Given Shinzawa’s assessment, DeBrusk could end up spending the rest of this season in Boston. Still, we shouldn’t rule out the Bruins finding a taker by the trade deadline but it’s doubtful they’ll get equal value.

LATEST ON THE RED WINGS

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan was asked about which players the Detroit Red Wings could realistically move at the trade deadline for draft picks during a recent mailbag segment.

The Red Wings gave up a second-round draft pick for Nick Leddy. Khan doubts they can get a similar return but feels they’ll take what they can get for a player they aren’t going to re-sign. Forward Vladislav Namestnikov is having a good season and would draw interest if the Wings decide not to re-sign him. They could re-sign defenseman Marc Staal for another season for his leadership.

Khan speculated they could attempt to move Thomas Greiss but there usually isn’t a big market for goaltenders at the trade deadline. He doesn’t expect Troy Stecher, Danny DeKeyser, Sam Gagner and Carter Rowney will attract much interest.